Quarterly Board Update – Q1 2020

Quarterly Board Update (January - March 2020)

Highlighting accomplishments and updates from across our portfolios.

A Note From Nate

Nate Wong shares progress from the Center in Q1, along with things to look forward to ahead of the next Board meeting.

Q1 Highlights

We were quite busy in January and February, and then everything changed in March.

Board Engagement

With so much happening, here are some ways you can help amplify our content, and connect with our people.

Portfolio Update

Get the latest from Data + Digital, Fair Finance, and Sustainable Student Impact.

Student Engagement

We always have students at the forefront of what we do. Take a closer look at some of what they've accomplished.

Looking Ahead

Upcoming events we hope you'll join us for (virtually, of course).

A Note from Nate

What's Happened Since December

Beeck Center Advisory Board,

My thoughts go to you and your loved ones during these unprecedented times. As with many of you, our attention has been on the COVID-19 response. Fortunately, our mission and the groundwork we have laid have enabled the Beeck Center to both adeptly shift to a virtual environment, while also allowing us to redirect some of our efforts to the external response. If you missed it, read what we’re doing in our latest Newsletter (sent on 3/31/2020).

Following our productive Board Meeting in December (yes, it feels like ages ago), we are also happy to relay progress that the Center has made across all of our portfolios of work the past quarter as a commitment to be accountable to our mission. This new online format is our way to keep the Board informed of our ongoing efforts and spark thoughts ahead of upcoming meetings. In that vein, please take some time to interact with the content curated for this group!

As always, we appreciate the Board’s commitment to the Center and its efforts to drive positive social impact. We hope these updates give some glimmers of hope and possibilities in between news soundbites and will be in touch (virtually) soon! As always, we covet your feedback, so reach out.


Nate Wong

Interim Executive Director


The last few weeks have been unprecedented to say the least. Our role as a convener and coordinator, between organizations, institutions, government and private sector, has enabled us to play an active role in COVID-19 response, leaning even more into our mission.


It's been a very busy three months here at the Center.

Our work is being recognized across industries and sectors.

From publication in Stanford Social Innovation Review to influencing legislation that modernizes Congress, we’re showing ourselves to be thought leaders and experts in our domain while also collaborating with key partners.

Our team is growing with new fellows and staff.

We’ve onboarded 13 new team members across our portfolios, bringing in experts, practitioners, and innovators in their respective fields.

Our funding’s increasing as the Center’s work and insights are in demand.

We secured an additional $300k in funds from The Rockefeller Foundation to build open source software solutions for high-priority state services and launch a new $500k research effort around Social Safety Net Benefits with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of our Data + Digital portfolio.

Our students continue to be the core of the Center.

We’re happy to have worked with a cohort of 15 Student Analysts this Spring semester, with six newcomers, and we are actively preparing for the summer class.

Board Engagement

Notable Items for Members to Engage in This Quarter

Our team hopes you can act on some of the items below as we prepare for a new quarter of deliverables and growth.

Our Portfolios

The soul of the Center is our work across our portfolios, and our teams have been doing spectacular work in 2020.

Data + Digital

The Data + Digital team’s projects each activate networks of leaders around shared priorities in the public interest technology field. We quickly tapped into our networks to take a leading role on the public interest technology community’s response to COVID-19, including co-founding U.S. Digital Response to provide data and digital support to governments as they address their most urgent needs. While we expect that COVID-19 will cause our existing projects to shift somewhat, we expect them to stay on track and continue driving impact in the weeks ahead.

Influencing Policy

Fellow Lorelei Kelly testified before a House committee on the urgent need for Congress to take measures to update itself to work in the 21st Century, drawing on lessons from her recent Beeck Center report on Modernizing Congress. Two days later, on March 10, the House passed H.Res.756, bipartisan legislation to implement modernizing reforms. [READ THE REPORT]

Launching New Projects

Three projects went online – Improving Foster Care, Social Safety Net Benefits, and New Digital Service Teams – and they’re all investigating how their insights can be used in the context of COVID-19 response.

Digital Census Playbook

During this pandemic, taking the Census online is critical. Fellow Kyla Fullenwider’s work to help cities prepare for the first digital Census was shared with 4,000 cities, and more than 150 joined informational webinars through this work in partnership with the National League of Cities and Code for America. [READ THE PLAYBOOK]

Data Governance Guidebook

Fellow Natalie Evans Harris published a guidebook to help government teams share data across silos — a persistent need in general, and especially crucial as agencies leverage their data for COVID-19 response. This timely report earned coverage and interest from civic tech outlets (GovLoop, RouteFifty). [READ THE GUIDEBOOK]

Fair Finance

With our economy in turmoil, vulnerable communities are at greater risk than ever, and our Fair Finance team is well-positioned to respond. Creating positive outcomes for society and individuals has always been our focus, whether thinking about stronger investment in communities, the allocation of capital to asset managers, or structural policy changes to change incentives. After many conversations with our network, it is clear that the finance space is looking for innovation and better ways to serve the public, especially in a time like COVID-19 where we’re seeing a greater need to focus on longer-term shared economic well-being!

Community Impact Amplification and Tools

We are working on a campaign to highlight how local businesses are innovating and redeploying assets in thoughtful ways to help with COVID-19 response in their communities. Also, in partnership with the Centre for Public Impact, we are developing a tool to further guide investors and developers looking to create positive community impact.

Audience Engagement

Lisa Hall was a panelist for the Impact Capital Summit which was held virtually with over 200 participants; Lisa and Jen Collins continue to interact with audiences at high-profile institutions such as the Aspen Institute, Harvard Business School, and Yale Philanthropy

Community Impact Stories

We take a deeper look at some projects that are already benefiting communities. They will be ready for release and amplification next quarter.

Sustainable Student Impact

The Sustainable Student Impact portfolio is new to the Beeck Center, yet moving at a fast-pace already. The portfolio contains our cornerstone GU Impacts Fellowship and recently-prototyped Social Impact Navigator, both of which are gaining attention from the broader university to adopt practices. More to share in the coming months!

Social Impact Navigator

Six “key skill” areas identified to help guide students’ social impact journey. [LEARN MORE]

GU Impacts

We saw a 50% increase in GU Impacts applications over last year, with a final cohort of 21 students. We’re currently working with our GU Impact partners and fellows on contingency projects in light of COVID-19 and the University’s decision to discontinue travel throughout the summer.

Growing Up, Scaling Out

As GU Impacts matures, we’re preparing to potentially transition the program away from the Center to another Georgetown University home.


Reflecting our dual mandate as a training ground for students and catalyst for leading-edge ideas, we continue to engage students in everything we do. From our Student Analyst Program, where students work across each of our portfolios gaining hands-on experience in social impact, to our workshops and book talks, where students are a key audience, we are committed to preparing students for social impact leadership.

These two student analysts have been in the program for the past three and four semesters, and truly illustrate the impact it’s had on their lives.

Forrest Gertin, School of Foreign Service, '20

“I used to think that public service meant government work, and that’s it. As a Beeck Center student analyst, I’ve gotten to work with people and organizations making change for the public good from a variety of sectors. Working at the Beeck Center has helped me understand how many organizations can affect systems change, and gravitate towards a career in public service that starts outside the traditional public policy sector, as a high school english teacher in Baltimore."

Tongxin Zhu, McCourt School of Public Policy, '20

“During my time with the Beeck Center, I've seen tremendous growth in the OZ project in terms of our framework adopters, the positive mentions we got from media and other mission-driven organizations, and most importantly, the nationwide OZ projects that bring changes to people and their communities. It's my honor and pleasure to see and be a part of this process. My experience here helps me develop problem-solving ability with a growth mindset, as well as cultivating self-awareness and active listening from a personal perspective.”


Alberto Beeck

Chairman of the Board

Olga Maria Beeck

Board Member

Rev. Ronald Anton, S.J.

Senior Advisor for Executive Education, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Olivier Brousse

CEO, John Laing Group Plc

Jean Case

CEO, Case Foundation; Chairman of the Board, National Geographic

Calvin Chin

Partner, E14 Fund

Robert Groves

Provost, Georgetown University

Bart Moore

Vice President for Advancement, Georgetown University

Carl Muñana

Former CEO, Inter-American Investment Corporation; Director, Oxfam America; Director, Global Citizen Year

Courtney O'Donnell

Director of Strategic Engagement and Planning, Airbnb

Peter Reiling

Vice President for Leadership Programs, Netflix

Shamina Singh

Executive Director, MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth


Your Chance to Engage

We’re excited for another busy quarter at the Beeck Center and engaging with you all in the coming months. With travel restrictions and social distancing in place, we've shifted a number of our events to virtual sessions.

APRIL 16, 2020

Impact Management Series

Fair Finance Lead Lisa Hall presents the continuation of our series of pop-up workshops on impact management. Open to students and practitioners. Register below:

April 16, 2020

Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants

Leaders from all around the world will participate in this convening to discuss the economic integration of refugees and immigrants. (Postponed; exploring virtual options)

May 11 - 12, 2020

State Chief Data Officer Convening

The CDOs will spend two sessions sharing challenges and successes and identifying opportunities to collaborate with one another. (Virtual)

June 2, 2020

Beeck Center Advisory Board Meeting

The Beeck Center’s bi-annual meeting that brings together members of the Advisory Board to discuss matters relating to the Center’s current status and future.